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Tag: Georgia

American Archives Month: Ryan Rutkowski, Carter Presidential Library

We continue with our celebrations of American Archives Month with our series highlighting a few of the outstanding folks in our Presidential Libraries.

Archivist Ryan Rutkowski has crisscrossed the nation in his pursuit of public history. From San Francisco to Chicago to Wheeling, WV, Rutkowski has finally found a home under the southern sun in Atlanta, GA. Read on to find out about his duties as an archivist, and how his job once led him to play a priest on the History Channel.

Ryan Rutkowski is an archivist at the Jimmy Carter Library in Atlanta, GA.

Ryan Rutkowski is an archivist at the Jimmy Carter Library in Atlanta, GA.

Name: Ryan Rutkowski

Occupation: Archivist at Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum

How long have you worked at this library?

Almost two years.

How/why did you decide to go into the archival field?

When I was an undergraduate, I had an opportunity to volunteer and intern at the Archives for the Archdiocese of San Francisco during my senior year at the University of San Francisco. The archivist, who was also my professor, gave me a broad range of duties that include processing, cataloging, and answering research requests.

I was particularly amazed at the rich history that was being preserved there, from the Mission Dolores artifacts dating to the 1700s to the sacramental records that were saved from parishes destroyed in the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. I enjoyed working hands with the material and provide research assistants to variety of clients. … [ Read all ]

Secession, Congress, and a Civil War Awakening at the Archives

The U.S. Capitol under construction, 1860 (National Archives Identifier 530494)

As a new year begins, the 112th Congress reconvenes for a second session of legislative activity. Representatives and senators from across the country are again descending upon the Capitol, ready to commence debates, proceedings, and hearings. This is how the legislative branch of the Federal Government always functions, right? Well, not always.

On the eve of the Civil War in 1860, the 36th Congress consisted of 66 senators and 234 representatives. There was a Democratic majority in the Senate and a Republican majority in the House of Representatives, and every state in the Union was effectively represented.

But once South Carolina issued its ordinance of secession on December 20, 1860, a surge of southern legislators began withdrawing and retiring from Congress.

By the time the 37th Congress convened in March of 1861, six states—Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas—had already joined South Carolina and left the Union. This prompted Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina to follow.

When the torrent of secession finally concluded, vacancies existed in both chambers of Congress. The mass exodus of southern Democrats, coupled with the commencement of Union-Confederate hostilities, shrank the Federal legislature to 50 senators and 180 representatives by the beginning of 1863.

Southern secession transformed Congress in many ways. The dozens of unfilled vacancies in the Senate and the … [ Read all ]

Facial Hair Friday: Gone with the Wind

Clark Gable on the poster of the movie "Combat America"

Yesterday was the anniversary of the Atlanta premiere of Gone with the Wind. The National Archives has at least two connections with this movie, and one of them is a mustache.

The National Archives was given a copy of the award-winning and controversial film. It was given to the first Archivist in 1941 by Senator Walter F. George of Georgia and Eastern Division Manager Carter Barron of Loews. [UPDATE: The multi-reel 35mm technicolor print, which was accepted as a gift donation (we still have the accession dossier), was later destroyed in a 1978 fire at the National Archives nitrate vaults at Suitland.]

But in the end, it all comes back to the mustache–in this case, the trim but bristley lip hair of actor Clark Gable, who portrayed Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance.

It’s not the only movie connection with Gable. We have stills from Call of the Wild that came into our holdings as part of records from the National Parks Service. This movie is also notable in Clark Gable’s personal life–his offscreen affair with with onscreen lover Loretta Young resulted in a daughter, Judy Lewis. Young  hid her pregnancy from the public but later adopted Judy.

The National Archives also holds a copy of Combat America, a film … [ Read all ]

Thursday Photo Caption Contest

Born with 14 toes, Gary “Logs” McGee never failed to impress at Camp Kishioka’s annual competition.

Choosing the winner was as easy as falling off a log for our guest judge Andrea Matney, who has experience balancing guest speakers and programming for the Know Your Records series.

Congratulations to the excellently named Ryan Tickle! Your caption tickled our funnybone and–combined with the oppressive heat this week–made us all long to be at “Camp Kishioka.” Check your email for a code for 15% off a purchase at the eStore!

So where do such delightful log-rolling contests happen? This image (ARC 557772) is from our DOCUMERICA series and shows Unicoi State Park in Georgia on the Fourth of July. The state park isn’t far from Helen, another town in Georgia that was photographed as part of this series. Helen is best known for having made itself into a tourist attraction by decorating the town in a Bavarian motif.

It’s so hot here in Washington, DC, that we would happily jump into a lake in Georgia or Bavaria. The weather has inspired us to choose this week’s photo–put your best caption in the comments below!

Your caption here!

[ Read all ]